Your Golf Swing
L. Mullen, CSCS
Your golf game can be improved by
following a strength-training and flexibility program. Although it was once believed that
strength training would develop bulky, tight muscles that would hinder the golf swing,
research and the large number of pros who strength train have dispelled this myth. By
conditioning the muscles used in golf you can:
increase your clubhead speed and driving distance
increase your muscle endurance
decrease your risk of injuries related to playing golf
increase your enjoyment of the game
During the golf swing, the body acts like a whip. Power production starts with the feet
pushing against the ground, then travels up the legs to drive the hips forward. The force
is transferred through the trunk to the chest and upper back, then to the arms, which move
the club through its arching pathway. Like a whip, if one link in the sequence is weak or
stiff, power will be lost. The body will have to reinitiate power after the point of
disruption, which is not only inefficient but can also cause injury.
Research that measures muscle activity during the golf swing tells us that many muscle
groups are involved and some are more active than others. The large muscle groups in the
body (buttocks, legs, chest and back) contribute the most force. Contrary to popular
belief, the deltoid muscles (top of shoulder) are relatively inactive, while the rotator
cuff muscles (which stabilize the shoulder) are are very active during the golf swing.
front of thigh (quadriceps)
back of thigh (hamstrings)
outer thigh or hips (abductors)
inner thigh (adductors)
sides of abdomen (internal and external obliques)
low back (erectors)
mid/upper back (latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, trapezius)
rotator cuff (infraspinatus, terses minor, subscapularis, supraspinatus)
back of arm (triceps)
front of arm (biceps)
forearm (forearm flexors and extensors)
If you are a member of a health club or gym, you can ask a personal trainer to set you
up on a golf-specific program. Otherwise, ask to be shown torso rotation, rotator cuff,
and forearm exercises to add to your general conditioning program. If you prefer to
workout at home you can use machines, free weights (barbells and dumbbells) or elastic
resistance (rubber tubing and bands). The Sports
FitKit for Golf contains an
effective, golf-specific strength and flexibility program using rubber
tubing. You can even use your
own body weight for strength training. Here are two exercises that require no equipment:
Squat - (front and back of thigh, buttocks)
Stand in front of a chair, with feet hip-width apart and feet pointing straight ahead.
With hands on hips, bend knees and slowly sit back and return to starting position. Beginner:
Sit down in chair. Advanced: Buttocks touch edge of chair. Injury Prevention Tips
Don't let your knees bend past your toes--the farther back you sit, the less your
knees have to bend.
Maintain good posture--bend from the hips, not the waist
Inhale when you sit down, exhale when you get up--don't hold your breath!
Push-Ups - (chest, front of shoulder, back of
Begin on the floor with hands placed slightly wider than shoulder width and legs
together. Keeping body straight, press up to full arms' extension. Don't sag in the
midsection or let the head drop. Slowly lower and stop when your arms are 90 degrees at
Beginner: Bend knees and work off them instead of the feet.
Advanced: Elevate your feet 1-3 ft.
Note: Although moderate strength training and stretching is very safe, if you are 35
or older or have a medical condition or previous injury, you should check with your doctor
before starting any exercise program.
Sports FitKit for Golf
a simple, effective and time-efficient way to increase performance and reduce
Rated 4 ½ stars out of 5 by Golf Magazine. Simple